Shark Bay and Francois Peron National Park

Next we headed to shell beach. Here the Fragum Cockle shells take over the beach and there is no sand here- only shells.  The water here was super saline (twice as salty as normal sea water from evaporation)  which these shells can cope with. Though it is hard to get out to the water at low tide, Steve braved the gale force winds and walked out for an easy float while I enjoyed a bed of shells. Mfragum cockle

shells only beach
Shells for as far as the eye can see!
hamelin pool
A view of Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve and Shell Beach from a look out. Shell Beach stretches 60kms and shells are 10metres deep in places.
shell beach heaven 2
In shell heaven.
shell beach sunbake
A shell sun bake on a blinding white beach- for about 1 minute.
steve and the sand piper
Steve floating way out with a gale force wind blowing!
project eden predetor proof fence
Project Eden’s predator proof fence goes right out in the water at either side of the Peron Peninsula. More about this project below.
shark bay salty water
Why this water is so salty and great for floating.

super salty water

shell quarry sign
The compacted shells from Shell beach were cut into big building blocks and used to construct buildings around Denham.
shell blocks
shell blocks in a building in Denham

shell blocks

project eden fence
This is the grid/gate at the project Eden predator proof fence. If you get out and walk through   the gate has motion sensors and it barks like a dog as you get near it, presumably to scare the feral cats and foxes from walking over the grid.
project eden predetor proof fence
The fence goes right into the sea at both sides of the Peron peninsula.
project eden
Bilby and Mallefowl and the Woma python are successes of this initiative as well as the Western Grasswren.

It took a couple hours of walking the sand dunes near Monkey Mia for Steve to find this endangered Western grasswren which is another success story in this area. We had both seen it once before but needed a photo for a positive ID. The photo is not so good but this sign gives you an idea of what it should look like. A sweet little thing and it is bird 322 for Steve. M


When Nicholas Baudin and Francois Peron visited Shark Bay in 1801 there were 23 species of mammals in this area. Less than half remained in 1990. This was due to habitat destruction and competition for food by live stock and rabbits, and predation from introduced foxes and cats. Project Eden was launched to reverse this ecological destruction. Two species that have made a comeback after reintroduction are the Bilby and the Malleefowl. A new program has now replaced Project Eden- Return to 1616!. M




We then headed out to the Francois Peron National Park to the heritage Precinct where you can have a look at what is left of the Peron Station homestead. On the way we saw this very unusual sign on the road. It is not many places that you have to look out for Bilby’s as there are so few left. But here their numbers are growing, which is just wonderful to see! It is amazing what can happen when you just get rid of animals that don’t belong here in this country!

bilby sign
The Bilby sign that made our day!

The Old Peron Station first leased in the 1880’s and bought by National Parks like many properties in drought areas that are no longer profitable. They used the old homestead as an office, so unfortunately you could not see inside but the walk around to the old shearing shed and artesian bore swimming pool was nice.

history of peron stationpub problem signpub problem sign 2peron station water sign

southern cross wind pump
The old Southern Cross Wind pump no longer pumped the bore water to the watering troughs but it still had a use.

A short beaked echidna that waddled along.

artesian bore photo

artesian hot tub peron homestead
Almost nobody was in the ocean as it was too cold and windy but the 40deg artesian bore in a cool wind was just right.
artesian hot tub
Cooling off for a minute
steve not flexible enough to be a shearer
Steve attempting to get into Sheep shearing position in the old shearing shed!

shearing instructions

wool classers table
The wool classer’s table.
wool baler
Old wool press
steve on the bale
A bag of wool ready for transport to the docks
wool bale label stensils
Stencils for labeling the wool bales.
cooks stove
The old stove in the shearers kitchen.



One thought on “Shark Bay and Francois Peron National Park

  1. Wow shells, amazing. Guess not easy to walk on. Another interesting find. Love Glenda

    On Mon, Oct 14, 2019 at 3:30 PM Maddy and Steve Norman’s gap year wrote:

    > maddyrichter posted: “Next we headed to shell beach. Here the Fragum > Cockle shells take over the beach and there is no sand here- only shells. > The water here was super saline (twice as salty as normal sea water from > evaporation) which these shells can cope with. Though it is” >


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